Cougars are leading the charge when it comes to cosmetic enhancements, new research shows.
Cosmetic surgeon Dr Terri Labberton from the Victorian Cosmetic Institute said she's seen a significant increase in women aged over 40 attending the clinic who are looking to date a younger man.
"It's amazing how many would-be cougars visit the surgery, looking to take years off themselves to attract a younger model," Dr Labberton said. "Many say they still feel like they're in their 20s, so want a body and a man to reflect their feelings."
The Victorian Cosmetic Institute surveyed more than 1300 women and found that liposuction, facelifts and laser hair removal were the most popular procedures while botox, dermal fillers and laser treatments were also extremely popular among the over 40s.
"These sorts of minor procedures are fun, quite quick and the results are instantaneous," Dr Labberton said.
Toni Reid, 51, is one woman who had a facelift and has never felt better.
After being married to an abusive alcoholic for 18 years she had finally found the strength to leave him.
But despite finding the courage to file for divorce, Toni felt wrinkled and worn.
After her divorce was finalisd in January 2009, Toni wanted to get back in the dating game - and become a cougar!
She wanted to find a hunky young man but she wanted to feel better about herself first.
“I just wanted to look younger and fresher, I didn't want to look so tired and worn out,” she says.
“I didn't want to look different, I still wanted to look like me.”
So Toni opted for a revolutionary new plastic surgery procedure - the stay-awake facelift
Pioneered by Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Dr Nicholas Nikolov, the new procedure has been nicknamed the Nick/Tuck.
Patients stay awake during the entire three to four hour procedure - making their recovery time just five days instead of the usual two weeks.
Toni, who had a facelift and her eyes done at the same time, was awake during the entire surgery.
Dr Nikolov spoke to her during the surgery, explaining what he was doing as he went along.
“I chose this procedure because I got to stay awake during the facelift so the recovery time is so much shorter,” she says.
“Also I had seen Dr Nikolov's work because a friend of mine had her eyes done and I was very happy with his work.
“It was a little scary at first because I had no idea how I was going to look. But I wanted to get this facelift done because the recovery time is only four to five days instead of the two weeks it usually takes with a regular facelift where you are put under.
“I wanted the facelift for myself. I don't feel like I am 51 and I don't want to look at it. I want to get back out there and begin dating again and want to look great. I was a little nervous about having the facelift as I was going to be staying awake during the whole thing.
“But I knew they would talk me through the whole thing and would monitor me through the whole operation, which took about five hours.
“I thought being awake was great because the doctor could let know exactly what was going on. I had two consultations before the actual operation.
“After the operation I was taken to a local hotel where I spent the night. I had a nurse on hand there who kept and eye on me and did everything for me."
“All I had to do was press a button if I wanted anything. I had to keep sitting up at a 45 degree angle, keep cold compresses on my eyes and drink lots of fluids but I felt fine."
“The drains came out the next day and the bandages came off after 24 hours too. I could see the difference straight away.”
Just five days after the surgery Toni was out and about and, while her face was still a little puffy, she was wearing make-up and already looking for a new love.
"I feel like a new woman. I still look like me, I just look younger and fresher,” she says.
"I have my confidence back after years of being berated and being told I was worthless I know I look great.
“I want to get back in the dating game. I've been joking with my family that I look so great I could even be a cougar and now have the confidence to do that.
“Before I wouldn't even have dreamed of looking for love again. I'd been through so much during my 18 year marriage that I was just worn down.
“I walk down the street with my head held high now and I know I'm getting looks - and this time they are looks of admiration.
“Some guy the other day told me I looked in my late 30s! I could've kissed him, that one comment really boosted my confidence even more.
“I'm really looking forward to getting back out there and dating again - it's going to be fun and I'm going to give those women ten years younger some competition!”
Don’t miss new show, “The Cougar”, on LifeStyle YOU
Article: Snapper Media